There will always be someone better than you.

Man. What a shitty thing to say.

But if we’re honest with ourselves, we know it’s true. Coming from an automotive perspective, there will always be someone with a faster car. Even if you have the scratch to get top-of-the-line, there will always be other lines beyond your means.

That’s a giant snail eating another giant snail.

There’s always someone with a bigger turbo (or two bigger turbos, as seen above), a nicer interior, or fewer oil leaks.

I’ve seen it with race cars. Even in relatively spec classes, there’s always someone with better engine management, a bigger travel budget, or more friends and family willing to stand around in a parking lot all day waiting to fix the car when it comes in for service.

I’ve seen it with overlanding. Oh my god, I’ve seen it with overlanding. Most of the time, you just need a high clearance vehicle, a sleeping bag, and a cooler full of sandwiches and beer. But good luck escaping the Content Marketing Gone Wild world of $150 shirts, $1500 refrigerators, and $150,000 trucks. You’d think you need a second mortgage to go camping.

I’m even seeing it with sailing. Seriously. I think it was on Attainable Adventure Cruising where I read familiar words of caution along the lines of, “There’s always someone years into building the ultimate cruiser—who’s never been out past the harbor buoy.”

Too true. Too true.

Now, I know I’m belaboring the point. But this is one of those exploration-discovery things. You see something happen across all your interests, there’s a good chance it happens elsewhere.

Gearheads and hustlers get around some of this with frugality and grit, but only by so much. There’s no escaping effort. So now what?

Remember there will always be someone better than you. Maybe the secret to happiness is focusing less on those who have it better, and more on being a hero to those who don’t.

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